Project 2018-07-26T11:10:16+00:00

Project

AIM AND SCOPE

DYNAVERSITY analyses and describes the actors involved in plant genetic conservation for agriculture in order to suggest management and governance models and to construct new forms of networking. It facilitates exchange and integration of scientific as well as practical knowledge on how to best manage diversity in agriculture and in the entire food chain, restoring evolutionary and adaptation processes.

CONTEXT

About agrobiodiversity conservation

The progressive shift of farmers from local varieties to genetically uniform high-yielding varieties is a global trend, coming from the last century.

It has been raising concerns about the implying loss of genetic diversity, a phenomenon named as “genetic erosion”. This loss of diversity is worrying because reduces the chances of plants to adapt to changing, to climate changes for example.
“Any genetic material of plant origin that has present or potential value for food and agriculture”, referred to as PGRFA (Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture) has therefore been included in international agreements aimed at conserving and sustainably using natural and agricultural biodiversity.

Two conservation strategy have been defined: ex situ and in situ. The first implies the preservation of species outside their natural habitat, such as genebanks, where seeds or other plant material are stored, or botanical gardens and greenhouses. In situ conservation is performed in the sites where plants developed their distinctives properties. It has, among others, the major advantage of capturing the evolutionary adaptation of plants exposed to changing environmental and management conditions.

In situ conservation involves wild species genetically close to cultivated ones, referred to as Crop Wild Relatives (CRW), which have proved to be more problematic to be stored in genebanks. CWR are important as reserves of useful traits (e.g. resistance to various stresses) which can naturally or artificially pass to genetically related crops.
In the past 20 years, in situ conservation of CWR has been an almost exclusive working field for universities and scientists developing methodologies for the creation of genetic reserve areas.

These strategies have however been poorly considered or applied by public authorities as such. Natural parks have rarely been involved in this discussion about in situ conservation even though many parks are working on CWR and landraces conservation.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES ARE

1 Generating a knowledge base on the characteristics of in situ genetic resources, good practices on conservation and management issues;
2 Mapping actors and stakeholders and through case study analysis identifying better practices;
3 Promoting new sustainable links and partnerships between European conservation stakeholders – crosscutting academic-civic-political-private actors – by training and mutual learning programs aiming at diminishing the divide between in situ and ex situ conservation efforts;
4 Integrating Natural Parks activities and policies within the on farm and in garden conservation realm of action;
5 Raising public awareness on the importance of genetic resources, also involving Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) – through science cafes, citizen science, Let’s Liberate Diversity meetings, demonstration sites, seed exchange networking, photo exhibitions, video animations, concept cards and agrobiodiversity corner in specialised magazines
6 Promoting an enabling institutional framework for new dynamic seed systems and strategies for innovative, participatory and integrated governance in the PGRFA communities, aiming at an increased use of genetic resources from in situ sources in breeding activities and in the food chain.

Workplan

WP1

Context, concepts, actors

Analysis of the context of genetic resources in Europe. The concepts of in situ, on farm management and ex situ conservation will be refined through literature review and specific interview to key persons. An interactive map collecting the current activities and organisations in place will be provided and it will be put emphasis on dynamic and innovative seed systems from both a socio-economic and social perspectives.

WP2

Partnership and networking

Creation of the “Sharing Knowledge Experience Platform” (the SKEP) aiming facilitating collaboration between actors all along the food chain. In detail analysis of the dynamics in the current existing networks and initiatives in order to identify incentives and barriers (technical, economic, social and environmental) for their development.

WP3

Increasing diversity in food systems

Organisation of demonstration sites and workshops to develop a multi-actor consultations and studies to better exploit ex situ wild relatives and landraces and connect ex situ and in situ resources. Several workshops will question genetic resources governance and how design a more efficient strategy to associate more closely breeders and consumers in order to boost renewal of the overall cultivated diversity for sustainable food systems.

WP4

Enabling legal and policy framework

Producing technical manual, leaflet, reports to support formal and informal strategies for breeding, seed circulation, facilitating exchanges and increasing diversity within the overall food system. This will lead to enabling institutional framework for developing dynamic seed systems and strategies for an improved governance in the PGRFA communities.

WP5

Fostering diversity through communication and public interaction

Design a communication strategy to facilitate circulation of the information and results internally and externally to a diverse range of audiences. Through social media, YouTube channel, general media, face to face activities such as seed fair, market experiences, field days, trainings with teachers, parks activities and public events.

WP6

Coordination and management

Ensuring the correct implementation of the project, optimising the organisation and timing of activities and resources, so that objectives, planned activities and outcomes of the project proposal are fully achieved. Important tasks include the development of the tools related to project coordination, internal communication, project reporting, and quality management.

Partners

ARCADIA (BE)

WP6 Leader, coordination and management

It is a multidisciplinary consultancy dedicated to the food and the feed value chain.

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CIRAD (FR)

WP3 and 4, technical manuals and workshops

The French agricultural research and international cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions.

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ECLLD (BE)

WP5 and 6, events organization

The European Coordination for Let’s Liberate Diversity! is an international non-profit organization to promote the dynamic management of agrobiodiversity.

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ESSRG (HU)

WP1 Leader, context and actors of in situ conservation

Environmental Social Science Research Group is a small R&D company working on the boundaries of environmental and social sciences.

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FEDERPARKS (IT)

WP5, dissemination events

The Italian Federation of Parks and Nature Reserves manages national and regional parks, marine protected areas and nature reserves.

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Formicablu (IT)

WP5 Leader, communication and public interaction

It is a science communication agency specialized in dissemination and outreach.

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INRA (FR)

WP3 Leader, awareness of agrobiodiversity

Within INRA, the “Participatory research and cultivated diversity” group works on increasing sustainability of organic agriculture thanks to multi-actor and transdisciplinary researches with farmers’ networks.

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Rete Semi Rurali (IT)

WP4 Leader, institutional framework and new governance

It’s the Italian Farmers’ Seeds Network, coordinates the existing associations.

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SEED-Ulg (BE)

WP2 Leader, case studies

The Socio-Economics, Environment and Development unit (University of Liège) has specialised in the approaches of sociology and environmental management, as well as the social study of science and technology and of transitions.

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URGENCI (FR)

WP3 and 5, events and dissemination

Urgenci is the international network for community supported agriculture.

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SKEP

The creation of the Sharing Knowledge and Experience Platform (SKEP) aims at facilitating collaboration and networking between in situ actors and stakeholders.

The SKEP sustains the project consortium in analysing opportunities, challenges and bottlenecks for the design and implementation of best practices for in situ and on farm conservation. By starting this platform at the ignition of the project and by setting-up several meetings, the objective is to make this platform self-sustainable after the completion of DYNAVERSITY.

The SKEP members are:

Regine Andersen
Gauthier Chapelle
Catrina Fenton
Waltraud Kugler
Rachel Lagiere
Lorenzo Maggioni
Jennifer Mc Connel
Pedro Mendes Moreira
Gebhard Rossmanith
Bert Visser

PARTNER PROJECT

Farmer’s Pride is a parallel project funded by the EU which is working in close liaison with Dynaversity.

It involves a large and diverse range of stakeholders from across Europe with an interest in the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources (PGR). Building on and enhancing existing network and PGR management structures, Farmer’s Pride is creating a region-wide collaborative network for in situ conservation of wild and cultivated PGR. This network will significantly strengthen efforts to support PGR custodians and secure Europe’s wealth of plant diversity for food, nutrition and economic security.

For details, please visit www.farmerspride.eu

Deliverables

WP1 (download all)

D1.1: List of terms and concepts, report used in ex situ, in situ and on farm conservation with their description and a short history of their development during the past years (M12)

D1.2: Report presenting the EU context (M18)

D1.3: Analytical framework, Internal document showing the framework under which actors, sites and initiatives will be included in the map (M6)

D1.4: Online map based on open source software and maintained by the SKEP platform after the end of the project. This online tool will present the detailed results of the mapping (M36)

WP2 (download all)

D 2.1: Preliminary list of case studies (M6)

D 2.2: Report presenting the analysis and results of the case studies (M20)

D 2.3: List of best practices (M22)

D 2.4: Preliminary report on challenges and bottlenecks, qualitative study about the needs and impediments concerning networking among stakeholders (M24).

WP3 (download all)

D 3.1: Report about actions getting consumers closer to issues of agrobiodiversity (M22)

D 3.2: Report about perspectives and lock-ins for new forms of interaction between conservation and breeding communities (M24)

D 3.3: Report about innovative mechanisms of governance for genebank management (M34)

D 3.4: Technical manual of the good practices to build and manage CSBs (M36)

D 3.5: Technical manual summarising the requirements for on farm databases (M36)

D 3.6: Report about demonstrative actions within citizen networks to bring diversity back to the fields and to the markets (M32).

WP4 (download all)

D4.1: Technical manual explaining how to manage access to ex situ collections and how to deal with collecting in situ and on farm PGRFA (M26)

D4.2: Leaflet targeted to lay persons explaining the different type of labels and their importance for conserving diversity (M12)

D4.3: Manual for users of diversity in order to improve their valorisation through the market (M28)

D4.4: Final report about seed systems with a graphical schema of their functioning (M34)

D4.5: Report on scenarios and strategies towards dynamic networks for managing diversity in Europe (M34)

D 5.1: Communication plan and social media strategy (M03)

D 5.2: Website publication (M04)

D 5.3: Photo exhibition and booklet (M18)

D 5.4: Design of 10 videoscribes (M18)

D 5.5: Design of 10 concept cards (M18)

D 5.6: Proceedings of the Summer School: a bottom-up training plan to increase diversity in food systems thanks to in situ dynamic conservation and renewal of cultivated/wild biodiversity (M33)

D 5.7: Train-the-trainers module for secondary schools teachers (M24)

D 5.8: Final conference (M34)

WP6 (download all)

D 6.1: Management Guidelines including risk management through appropriate mitigation measures and alternative approaches (M03)

D 6.2: Submission of periodic report: consolidation of technical and financial reports as specified in the EU-contract and including annual costs claims by all project partners (M12)

D 6.3: Submission of periodic report: consolidation of technical and financial reports as specified in the EU-contract and including annual costs claims by all project partners (M24)

D 6.4: Final technical and financial report: consolidation of final technical and financial reports as
specified in the EU-contract and including annual costs claims by all project partners (M36).